When it comes to decorating, one of the tasks that people find “scariest” is mixing patterns. Patterns are a wonderful way to inject charm, character, and style into a space. They add more life to your décor. However, choosing more than one can be daunting for some.
We’re here to tell you that mixing patterns doesn’t have to be scary! It can be a lot of fun once you know a few basic principles. Here are our top tips for mixing patterns in your home to simplify the process.
Tips on Mixing Patterns in Decorating
Choose at least three patterns
When mixing multiple patterns, choose at least three because odd numbers always look better and more dynamic. You can work upwards from there incorporating as many different patterns as you’d like, but make sure they are always an odd number.
Scale is very important to consider, too. A room full of nothing but large or small patterns will busy and unbalanced. To achieve a harmonious look, choose a variety of pattern sizes. Here’s one easy formula that always works:
Pattern 1: A large pattern (and the strongest statement in the room)
Pattern 2: Half the scale or size of the first pattern
Pattern 3: Similar to the size of the first or second pattern, or a small-scale pattern
Pattern 4+: Small-scale patterns
Lastly, mix up the types of patterns. If your main pattern is a floral, for example, pair it with a geometric pattern for more visual interest and balance.
Stick to a color palette and intensity
Color is your most important asset for tying your patterns together and creating a cohesive look. Always figure out your color palette for the room first, then make sure your patterns complement it. Also, keep in mind the intensity of those colors. Don’t mix jewel tones and pastels, for example. Keep them all in the same color family.
Balance them with solids
To make your patterns really pop, balance them with solids. Putting a pattern on every surface will quickly make things busy and make it hard for your eyes to figure out where to rest. Incorporate plenty of large pieces in a solid color so that your patterns will stand out without overwhelming the space.
Think about the vibe you want to capture
Pattern is a great way to bring character and personality to a space, but it’s important to figure out exactly what kind of personality that will be. Do you want it to be bold and lively? Clean and modern? Feminine and glamorous? Once you know the look you want to capture, it will be much easier to choose patterns that bring that look to life.
Florals, for example, wouldn’t be a good choice if you wanted a streamlined, gender-neutral look. Also, consider the style of each pattern. Does it have a sheen to it? If so, that will make it more glamorous, whereas a rough texture will give it a more rustic feel.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
The number one thing that holds people back from decorating with patterns is their fear that they won’t do it “right.” Like anything else in decorating, mixing patterns is about expressing your creativity and personal style. There are no wrong answers. The best way to do it is to just get started and try different things. You can get free swatches from most fabric stores so you can try them out in your room before committing to anything. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to experiment!